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Is anyone here an ascetic?

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Although I am not an ascetic, I've always been intrigued by the ascetic lifestyle. I admire people who have the self discipline to lead such austere, simple lives. I wish I could do it, but my mind always gets in the way. I always fall back into my old habits.

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So, my question is: do any of you follow an ascetic lifestyle? What helps you to lead such a life? Does willpower factor into it? Could you recommend any books that would help?

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Doing that which others find difficult to do is ascetic practice.

Waking up at 3, 4, or 5am to practice is an ascetic practice. Eating once a day at noon,

twice a day and fasting the rest, is ascetic. Meditating is ascetic, standing practices are ascetic,...

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Walking in a manner which cultivates mind, proper structure and energetic cultivation is ascetic..lol

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Anyone practice Qigong?... That is ascetic too!

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^_^

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Peace and Blessings... Eat the bitter, taste the sweetness!

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Lin

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There are benifits to adjusting how much energy the senses use. Sensory deprivation is probably the fastest way for most westerners. Other practices may seem like exercises of "will", but fasting is a close second, followed by daily chi gung until mental dialog melts into body dialog. THis is where wuji or emptiness is realized instead of aspired towards. It's hard work, it's only 3 inches away, but it's the farthest three inches you will ever reach.

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Spectrum

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ps - fasting is not just a food thing. I would lean towards saying most folks can benifit a great deal in their communication by fasting from visual media for a season so they can adjust to seeing inside clearly, without the residual patterns from daily media consumption. Music is a nice alternative, especially playing it, as the internal dialog completely switches over to a single layer.

Edited by Spectrum

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If you mean do I wear only a loincloth and am I typing this whilst sitting on a bed of nails, no. :) But yes I live a reasonably simple life in terms of diet, I watch what I take in, I have gradually got rid of physical bad habits, etc.

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For me 'willpower' does play a role in any kind of self-change. Alot of the reason people in Hermetics will work on their habits is to strengthen their will, which helps one's life in many ways.

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If you want to change, start working out what's going wrong with the method you have at the moment and keep experimenting. Never blame yourself. Years ago I gave up smoking and I found Allen Carr's 'EasyWay' really amazingly helpful... I abstracted what he did there to a more generalized system. I've also used self-hypnosis alot (try searching for Forbes Robbins Blair on Amazon), affirmations, EFT, EMDR, Stoic philosophy, NLP... the key is to be absolutely definite what you are trying to do, not give up until you succeed, and not try for too much at once. Let the change settle into a full unconscious habit before you work on the next thing. Find out how you work.

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Bardon outlined three forms of asceticism -- mental, astral and physical. Basically this means having a} an eye on one's own thoughts, b} an ennoblement of the character, and c} decent regular physical lifestyle. In other words this is asceticism as self-discipline, not self-flagellation. That's the way I think of it.

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The word 'ascetic' comes from the Greek askesis meaning essentially 'training'. If you are working on seminal retention or going to raw food or even just waking up an hour earlier, as another post said, that's all the asceticism you need, and it's done for a good reason rather than just for the sake of it.

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All best wishes,

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~NeutralWire~

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I did the ascetic thing for while and I think it is a stage you need to pass through. I ended that period of my life back in 2000 after I gave away everything I owned and took off into the woods of Northern Michigan. I think its one of the trials that most religious and cultures promote as a way to deepen your connection to the universe. At least I hope it is just a stage since I gave it up awhile back.

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If someone makes a post on this board.... doesn't it kind of hint that they're not an ascetic? :blink:

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At least not a full blown one :P

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Well, I meant "ascetic" in the broadest possible sense, but your point is well taken. :)

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